24 April 2017

Gem Awards 2017

This week it's the third anniversary of resourceaholic.com. It's become a tradition for me to mark the anniversary of my blog by publishing an annual 'Gem Awards' post. Here I look back at all the ideas I've shared in my gems posts over the last year and choose some of my favourites.

1. CPD Award
This award goes to Craig Barton, whose brilliant podcasts have been a very welcome addition to the world of maths education over the last year. In his epic podcasts, Craig talks to a wide range of people about teaching maths, from classroom teachers to world famous education experts. Every episode gives us lots to think about.
Special mention to La Salle Education for continuing to run affordable, accessible, high quality conferences all year round. I really love their conferences and am very grateful for everything they contribute to the development of the maths teaching community.

2. Best New Resources
The winner of this award is @taylorda01 who has produced a large collection of incredibly useful 'Increasingly Difficult Questions'. I first featured these in Gems 59 and have since added all the links to my resource libraries. These well written questions are easy to use, printing nicely onto A5, and come with answers.
Special mention to Edexcel who really came to our rescue for some new GCSE topics with their set of supporting resources, as featured in Gems 64.

I should also mention my all time favourite resource makers Don Steward and MathsPad, who have continued to produce brilliant resources all year round.

3. Subject Knowledge Award
I think that one of the most important things a maths teacher can do is continually enhance their subject knowledge, no matter how experienced they are. This award goes to teacher trainer Ed Southall, who is leading the way on developing maths teacher subject knowledge. His recently published book 'Yes, But Why? Teaching for Understanding in Mathematics' has had unprecedented sales and rave reviews. I wrote a full review of it here. Ed frequently delivers subject knowledge presentations at conferences and has also recently started making videos which are well worth a look.

4. Best TES Resource Author
This award goes to Dan Walker, maker of outstanding resources for Key Stage 3 to 5. I wrote all about his resources in this post so do have a read to see lots of wonderful examples.

5. Best New Website
This award goes to Clarissa Grandi - the artiest maths teacher I know. I wrote about her beautiful website artfulmaths.com in Gems 57. It features classroom displays, creative lesson ideas and extra-curricular activities.

Special mention to Darren Carter for his website mrcartermaths.com. It is super slick and easy to navigate, instantly providing questions and answers for busy maths teachers. And because the answers are so accessible, it's a good revision tool for students to use at home too.

6. Best Video
This award goes to the 'Why the Metric System Matters' video that I featured in Gems 60. I showed it to my Year 7 class and they had a million questions about units afterwards! I'd never seen them so interested in anything before.

Special mention to 3Blue1Brown for their excellent range of videos, including the vectors video that I enjoyed sharing with my Year 13s.

7. Best Problems
This award goes to Underground Mathematics for continuing to expand their collection of excellent A level problems.

I should also mention brilliant.org, who won my Best Problems Award in the Gem Awards 2015. I still enjoy following their Facebook posts - many of their problems are suitable for my students.

8. Best Teacher Support
The White Rose Maths Hub definitely deserves an award for the huge amount of support that they offer to schools all over the country. Their schemes of work for both primary and secondary schools are really useful. Their assessments are also excellent, and they have recently launched a collection of multiple choice questions on one of my favourite websites - diagnosticquestions.com. These questions are aimed at primary schools but I regularly use them with my Year 7s.
Special mention goes to the Mathematical Association - their Twitter account is an absolute 'must follow' for maths teachers, keeping us all up-to-date on news and developments in maths education.

9. Best Interactive Tool
This award goes to MathsPad for their excellent exterior angles tool. MathsPad has a great range of quality interactive tools for demonstrating concepts.

Special mention to the zoomable number line on mathsisfun.com - my Year 7s were genuinely excited when I used it in a place value lesson.

10. Lifetime Achievement
John Corbett is definitely too young to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award! But I'm giving him one anyway. His awesome website corbettmaths.com continues to go from strength to strength. I regularly use his textbook exercises and send my students links to his videos. I'm using his Higher and Higher Plus 5-a-day in all of my Year 11 revision lessons. His lovely revision cards have been very popular too. I wrote more about corbettmaths.com in this post. Thank you John - you're amazing!

That's it for the 2017 Gem Awards! What a fantastic collection of ideas and resources. Thank you to everyone who tweets about what they've tried in their classroom. It's so inspirational. If you want to read more Maths Gems, there's an index here. For highlights, check out Gem Awards 2016 and Gem Awards 2015 too.

Finally, while we're on the subject of awards, I'd like to say an enormous thank you to all of my readers for their ongoing support. I'm incredibly pleased to say that I won the Individual Education category at the UK Blog Awards 2017. I think this may be one of my greatest achievements ever, and I couldn't be more happy. I'm truly grateful to all my readers.